Friday, 11 August 2017 05:40

Project is on schedule to replace ice floor slab

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The $2.5 million project to replace the main arena ice floor slab in the Innovation Credit Union i-plex is on schedule.


The City of Swift Current’s General Manager for Community Services Dean Robson said an important project milestone was reached on July 31, when the pouring of the refrigerated floor slab took place.
“Our schedule is still bang on track, September 15, and in fact we’ve just finished put ice in the Fairview Arena,” he said. “Fairview Arena will be accommodating most of our minor sports moving forward here the next couple of weeks, such as the Bronco hockey school and training camp after that.”
It will take about 28 days for the concrete to set and cure, but in the meantime the work will continue to prepare the i-plex arena for the hockey season.
“Every day that it cures allows you to do other things, such as to start putting up your boards and glass on the perimeter side, and some of the netting,” he said. “We did some renovations to our visitors and home player boxes. So we’ll start doing all that as well, as the slab cures, and go from there and then we’ll get into the interior side of the board system once that end’s completed and the floor is cured.”
The improvements at the arena will include changes to the perimeter board system, which will help to reduce injuries to players.
“We had an older board system,” he said. “It allows for a little bit more reduction in injuries we hope because the type of board system that we’re doing allows some forgiveness or cushioning. So that's going to be better for all players involved, not just the Broncos, but all of our teams.”
The City had to proceed with this project due to heaving in the ice floor slab. A geo-technical analysis was completed in May 2015 and an ice slab specialist consultant was also used to do a study, which was completed in July 2016. As a result, the consultant team recommended the replacement of the ice floor slab.
The previous ice floor was installed in 1990. The consultant’s study indicated that no insulation was installed to contain the cold from the ice slab and there was no drainage to remove excess water from underneath the slab.
The concrete slab was directly connected to 133 concrete piles, which created a thermal bridge to the surrounding soil. It allowed the soil underneath the cold slab to freeze and frost heaving took place. The concrete slab therefore started to lift in an uneven manner and it was set to fail at some time.
Robson noted the new ice floor slab will address the previous design issues and it will also result in operational savings.
“We’re looking forward to having a really good floor that may be not so much pretty but very functional – the refrigeration, the electrical,” he said. “We’re going to see a lot of savings there because we were struggling with some cracks in the slab before as well as a safer product for our users. So we’re pretty excited about that.”
The goal is to have the ice in place at the i-plex by Oct. 1. The Swift Current Broncos will host their home opener against the Kootenay ICE on Oct. 7.
“With Fairview Arena we’ve had some new refrigeration stuff there as well, which allowed us actually to put the ice in a little bit quicker than we have in the past,” he said. “So actually, we’re going to have a really good ice system there. We expect the same at the i-plex. If everything is running functionally and without any hiccups, we should get that ice in real quick.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

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